Voldemārs Matvejs (aka Matthew, aka Vladimir Markov), a Latvian by birth, native of the city of Riga, was born in 13 (1) October 1877. Elementary art education, the future artist received in his native city at the School of drawing and painting of Veniamin Blum. In 1902, the Imperial Academy of arts V. Matvejs assigns the right to teach in secondary schools, and a short time Matvejs worked as an art teacher in the small town of Tukums, and then moved to the capital where they wanted to continue art education.
The Academy of arts he received in 1904, about two years worked in the Studio of famous painter and teacher John F. Tsionglinskogo. Matvejs from 1906 to 1914, was a student of the Academy of arts, which is not finished, and died 16 (3) may 1914 - a month before submission of graduation pictures.
At the same time Matvejs was active in public life. In 1906 - 1907 he became the editor and publisher of the monthly magazine "Exhibition Bulletin", and from 1910 Matvejs was one of the founders and leading members of the St. Petersburg society of artists "Union of youth" (1910-1914 gg.), who played a significant role in the history of Russian avant-garde. Part of the "Union of youth" included many future prominent figures of the avant-garde - Vladimir Tatlin, Olga Rozanova, Kazimir Malevich, Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova.
In the summer of 1910 voldemārs Matvejs organized the exhibition "Union of youth" in Riga. This event was marked by the publication of the Manifesto "the Russian secession", which is one of the first manifestos of the Russian avant-garde. Matvejs wanted to create a General theory of the basic principles of the plastic art world, and to this end he led a study of the cultures and other regions – Africa, Oceania, North Asia - in ethnographic museums and collections all over Europe. In 1912, in the first and second collectors society published an article by V. Matvejs (under the pseudonym Vladimir Markov), "Principles of new art". The society is partly financed his trip to Europe in 1912-1913 in addition, "Union of youth" in 1914 published books V. Matvejs (all under the pseudonym Vladimir Markov) "Creative principles in plastic arts. Texture", "the Art of Easter island", a collection of Chinese poems "Flute of China" (with V. Igorevim). In St. Petersburg, in may 1914 at the age of 37 years, the artist died. Posthumously in 1919 the NARKOMPROS issued a book by V. Matthew (V. Markova) "Art of blacks".
The merits of Matvejs before the Russian avant-garde are great. He strongly entered in the artistic context of new subjects - the primitive sculpture and the Oriental imagery, have extensively developed the theory of new art, explored its plastic principles; organizing exhibitions. The problems which first drew attention Matvejs, developed for many years, and have retained relevance, decades after his death.
In the Benois wing of the State Russian Museum hosted an exhibition of works by Latvian artist Voldemārs Matvejs of. It is the first joint project of two leading art museums of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Latvia with the support of the Consulate General of the Republic of Latvia in St. Petersburg.
The exhibition includes 40 paintings of the artist from the collection of the State art Museum of Latvia, made during his study at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, and independent creative work. The exhibition представлены35 photos from the books "the Art of Easter island", "Art of blacks" and "Sculpture of the peoples of Northern Asia". Since the originals have not survived, demonstrates modern photographs taken from negatives of the artist. The exposition included works of the teachers of Voldemars of Matvejs at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts – Yana Tsionglinskogo, Nikolay Dubovskoy paintings of the artists participating in the "youth Union"; documents from the Manuscript Department of the timing related to the activities of V. Matvejs and the society of artists, as well as the original cover – work. Altman to V. Matvejs book "Negro Art". In addition to the beautiful exhibition the exhibition naturally includes a small collection of sculptures – figures of Easter island and Northern Asia from the collections of the Museum of anthropology and Ethnography named after Peter the Great (Kunstkamera) RAS. In this Museum Matvejs in 1913, took some pictures, which later became his book "the Art of Easter island" (1914). As history has shown, it was the first edition in which the art of this island was estimated at the beginning of the twentieth century from an artistic point of view.
( the article "the voldemārs Matvejs in St. Petersburg" Policeman.Speb.ru 18.10.2004)